With the India-Australia interim trade deal set to kick off later this month, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs has notified the Rules of Origin. The notification, which relates to the eligibility requirement to claim the preferential customs duty on trade in goods, under the economic cooperation and trade agreement (ECTA), will come into effect from December 29. This is when the ECTA will also come into effect.
RoAs specify the threshold for value addition in the country concerned to qualify for the tax concessions under the FTA, so that the benefits are not misused by firms based in other countries.
Called the Customs Tariff (Determination of Origin of Goods under the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement) Rules, 2022, the notification by the CBIC lays out the origin criteria based on which the product would be eligible for the preferential customs duty.
India and Australia had in April this year signed the ECTA, which is expected to cover 90% of the bilateral trade between the two. India will benefit from preferential market access provided by Australia on 100% of its tariff lines. India will be offering preferential access to Australia on over 70% of its tariff lines, including lines of export interest to Australia which are primarily raw materials and intermediaries such as coal, mineral ores and wines.
Experts said the notification by the CBIC would help businesses evaluate the benefits of the ECTA for their products.
Once the tariff notification is rolled out for the ECTA, Indian businesses need to evaluate the benefit extended on the inbound and outbound trade from the perspective of supply chain optimisation and enhanced access to a new market, covering a large cross section of goods or sectors,” said PwC in a note.
Abhishek Jain, Partner Indirect Tax, KPMG in India said, “It is important to note that each FTA has its own origin rules and nuances thereof, and given the CAROTAR provisions which were introduced by the Indian government in 2020, the onus is on Indian importer to ensure that the said rules are duly complied with. As such, for Companies looking to take benefit of the Indian- Australia FTA, a detailed perusal and compliance of the origin rules remains indispensable.”
Australia is the 17th largest trading partner of India and India is Australia’s 9th largest trading partner. India-Australia bilateral trade for both merchandise and services is valued at $ 27.5 billion in 2021